A COACH caught fire on the M40 near Beaconsfield yesterday evening.

The driver of the vehicle was able to pull off onto the exit sliproad and lead his passengers to safety after the fire broke out.

Firefighters praised driver for his actions in dealing with the incident, which was reported to the emergency services at 7.16pm.

Watch Manager Paul Casey said: "On arrival, there was smoke issuing and flames visible in the undercarriage. The coach driver did extremely well to stop in a place of safety and ensure all his passengers were moved to a safe zone away from fast-moving traffic, and then call the emergency services.

"The crews worked quickly and safely together to resolve the incident and allow the reopening of the M40."

Crews from Beaconsfield and Gerrards Cross fire stations were called to the incidents Mr Casey added: "In the summer months, vehicles can quickly overheat and, on rare occasions, even catch fire. If this happens, we advise drivers to pull over carefully and ensure they stay a safe distance from the vehicle involved.

"If on a motorway, make sure you stay behind any metal barriers to maximise safety from other traffic, and inform the emergency services. Do not attempt to tackle the fire yourself as relatively small fires in vehicles can quickly spread."